We have all experienced periods when we must balance day-to-day operations and requests for attention with an atypically high volume of responsibilities to meet looming deadlines or immovable targets.

This is the lead up to a solicitation. This is Homecoming, or any event. The release of the Queen’s Alumni Review, mid-year and year-end reviews, or the launch of new technology or reporting mechanism are some other recognizable examples of this scenario. 

We can all relate to these periods, but some teams go through them with little visibility – and even less broad understanding of their circumstances due to specialized professional expertise. Colleagues managing our fiscal year-end are in exactly this position this month. Whether it is dealing with our budget, institutional year-end reporting, or government filings, I would like to extend a personal thank you to the individuals in finance, fund stewardship, gift services, and information technology management – and the colleagues supporting them – for everything you do to close off our fiscal year-end. 

Advancement is a business. Without your detail-oriented, thorough approach to this foundational work, the rest of us would flounder. Without your work operating funds could be jeopardized, annual results would not be communicated to institutional leadership, and the charitable status of Queen’s could be compromised. On behalf of everyone in the Office of Advancement, thank you for taking care of this important work for the rest of us. 

Coco Doré joins our team

Coco Doré joined the Office of Advancement as our new Senior Advisor, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigenization (EDII) on April 25.

As previously shared, Coco will be responsible for the strategic development, oversight, and leadership of proactive EDII special projects and initiatives in support of Advancement’s strategic plan. She will oversee the operational implementation of this strategy and help to embed an EDII focus within the internal culture and practices of and externally facing programs run by the Office of Advancement. 

Coco and I have been grateful for the receptivity of the Office of Advancement to this new role. As you can all appreciate, there are a lot of ways and opportunities for Coco to make a real difference in our business. In the interest of full transparency, I would therefore like to confirm Coco’s priorities for 2022-23.

Coco will be focused exclusively on on-boarding through the month of May – including attending the CCAE National Conference. This onboarding to Queen’s will continue through June as well. 

Also in June, Coco will begin hands-on work in a series of advancement projects designed to immerse her into Queen’s Advancement. She will be an active member of the Homecoming delivery team, shadow a relationship manager on donor work, assist with fund reports, support one gift announcement, and work on the EDII Data Governance and Policy project beginning in December. In the final quarter of 2022-23, Coco will build her plan for the EDII assessment of externally facing programs run by the Office of Advancement. The plan for this assessment will inform planning for 2023-24.

Beginning in July, Coco will commence work on an EDII assessment of our internal culture and practices. It is expected that this plan will be completed in early 2023, and recommendations will begin to be implemented in the final quarter of this fiscal year or help inform planning for 2023-24.

Thank you all again for your interest in this new position, and for welcoming Coco to the team. We both look forward to focusing on these priorities over this next fiscal year. 

See you the week of June 13

As previously announced, Queen’s Advancement staff will gather in March, June, October, and December as part of our remote-first pilot. Our next quarterly gathering is the week of June 13.

Some Advancement-wide meetings will be held during these gatherings, such as Advancement Enhancement Day on June 15. Additional programming will be developed by members of the ALT and other Advancement leaders, so the duration of the quarterly gathering may vary between teams (for instance, some teams may only gather in-person from Tuesday to Thursday, while others may do so for longer.) Everyone is therefore encouraged to watch their calendars for updates on Advancement-wide meetings and ALT members and Advancement leaders will share more information about plans specific to your area as soon as they are available. 

The tentative dates for future quarterly gatherings are currently the weeks of September 12 and December 5. In the meantime, we look forward to gathering next in June!

Advancement Enhancement Day

A few weeks ago, we asked you to let us know what you wanted to see from Advancement Enhancement Day. There was a resounding request for a focus on wellness and team building and we cannot wait for you to see what we have planned for you – from yoga to a group mural and a lot more in between. 

There will be in-person and hybrid options for a lot of exciting activities. In the meantime, we wanted to let you all know that registration will be going live on June 6. A link to the registration will be available through ALTogether Now that day. 

Your Advancement Enhancement Day Planning Committee,
Kate Bearse, Sarah Blayney Lew, Rachel Castellano, Kym Cook, Deanna Theander, Michelle White

Ask the ALT

The next Advancement Leadership Team Q&A session will be at 11 am ET on Thursday, May 19.

For those of you that are new to Queen’s Advancement, the rules for these open Q&A sessions are as follows: attendance is optional; anyone can ask any member of the ALT any question on any topic; and there will be no pre-set agendas so the Q&A session will last as long as attendees have questions (the optional Zoom meeting already in your calendar is booked for up to 45 minutes). 

We understand that some people may not be comfortable asking their questions out loud in front of the group. If you would prefer to submit your question(s) via an anonymous survey, we are happy to add that option for you. Kate Bearse will manage these anonymous questions, submitters will not be identified to Kate through the survey, and she will ask them on your behalf at the ALT Q&A. 

The option to personally pose your question(s) at the meeting still exists.

Please consider questions you would like the ALT to answer and either submit them via the anonymous survey by the end of day May 17 or come prepared to ask them May 19. Members of the ALT look forward to the discussion, and we will do our best to answer your questions.

Have your say

As you will recall, the Employee Experiences Survey launched on April 25 and will remain open until Friday, May 13. The Employee Experiences Survey represents a key strategic goal of the new university strategy to address organizational culture. It is designed to gather employee insights into various aspects of our organizational culture so that future services and programs can be designed to address employee needs. Strong participation is needed to ensure that all employees are represented, and that the university can be truly responsive to its community. 

With high participation rates, the Employee Experiences Survey will provide the university with better insight into all corners of our workplace and will allow us to develop programming that is more responsive to employees’ needs. 

Additionally, because results will be available at a faculty and department level, we will see what matters most to employees within the Office of Advancement. 
Queen’s currently has a 32% response rate overall. This is an industry-leading response rate for a university of our size, and we have been told that the Office of Advancement response rate is currently higher than the university response rate. Thank you to everyone that has already completed the survey. 

For individuals who have not yet had a chance to complete the survey, watch for automatic reminders in your inbox from “Employee Experiences Survey at Queen’s University.” Unfinished surveys can be completed at any time, and if anyone has questions or needs accommodations, please email or visit the Employee Experiences Survey website.

Survey respondents are grouped within the faculty or department that their position is funded by. Survey responses from all faculty-based advancement staff, except Executive Directors, will therefore be included in responses from the faculties they work within. Survey responses from Executive Directors and university-wide advancement teams will be reflected in the results for the Office of Advancement.

Employee spotlight

The Employee Spotlight celebrates the arrival of our new and existing staff by profiling responses they share through a fun and informal survey that will help us get to know them better. Be sure to review these profiles and use these fun facts and tidbits to find commonalities, embrace differences and spark a conversation. 

A few weeks ago, we welcomed three new members to Advancement:

Coco Doré in the position of Senior Advisor, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenization, Office of the VP (Advancement). Learn more about Coco and what her favourite family tradition is.

Olivia Thedorf in the position of Human Resources Advisor, Office of the VP (Advancement). Learn more about Olivia and what fictional family she would like to be part of.

Michael Simion in the position of Associate Director, Information Automation and Delivery, Advancement Services. Learn more about Michael and what the one meal is that he can eat for the rest of his life.

Jobs with Advancement

We need your recruitment help. Know great talent that would be a good addition to our team? If so, please promote the vacancies below with your networks and let’s find some amazing new team members.

Applications (including a cover letter and résumé) must be submitted through CareerQ. For additional information on this posting, please reach out to either Carla Ferreira Rodrigues or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.

Position Competition number Unit and department Closing date Grade Type
Executive assistant J0422-1182 Office of the Vice-Principal May 9, 2022 8 Term


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